TV Licence constatly Harassment

Mr Sattler made this Freedom of Information request to British Broadcasting Corporation This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

1) Is there a legal obligation or requirement for a person who does
not require a TV license to do any of the following:
a) Respond to letters from TV Licensing?
b) Inform TV Licensing that a TV license is not required?
c) Prove to TV Licensing that a TV license is not required?

2) Does a TV Licensing "Enforcement officer" have any right of
access to a home without a warrant or invitation?

3) If the answer to #2 is no, would the "Enforcement officer" have
the right to enter a home if accompanied by a police officer (but
again, still without a warrant or invitation)?

4) In the event of a TV Licensing law being broken, what amount of
evidence is required to be gathered before the TV licensing
authority will issue a court summons to the law-breaker?

5) If a householder is taken to court over suspected infringement
of TV licensing laws, does the burden of proof that a TV license is
not required rest upon the defendant? or is it the duty of the
enforcement authority to prove that the law has been broken?

6) In the scenario set out in #5, if the defendant is found to be
not-guilty, would the defendant be liable for any court costs
incurred by the TV licensing authority under any circumstances?

7) I don't have TV and I am not recording any live TV either. I don't need a TV licence. How can I stop these constantly harassment from the TV Licence? Why should I have to go through this ordeal. I feel too that I don't have to prove anything to the TV licence as I am not using their service and I didn't request it either. If the TV Licence hasn't got prove against why they keep bothering me? Can I ask compensation for the amount of stress if has been causing me?

Yours faithfully,

Mr Sattler

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Sattler

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was received on 07/01/2016. We will deal with your request as promptly as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your request is RFI20160127.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 B6, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP
Email: [BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882

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Peter Jones left an annotation ()

You might find our blog useful:

I think you might know the answer to all of these questions, but just in case you don't:

1 (a) No.
(b) No.
(c) No.

2. No, no right whatsoever.

3. No, no right whatsover. If there is no warrant, or no invitation, then TV Licensing has no right to enter at all, police present or not. The police only have the right to enter without warrant under very rare circumstances (e.g. to apprehend someone wanted on warrant, prevent a crime in progress etc).

4. In theory TV Licensing should have credible evidence of TV licence evasion taking place at the property. In practice it sometimes doesn't, because it realises very few defendants will respond to contest the charges (e.g. most people will be found guilty by default). Credible evidence is the occupier being caught in the act of receiving TV programmes within their unlicensed property OR admitting that they have done so.

5. In theory, as with any criminal offence, it is for the prosecution (e.g. Capita, acting as TV Licensing on behalf of the BBC) to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt. In practice, as mentioned earlier, TV Licensing wins many cases by default, because the defendant fails to respond to the summons.

6. If the defendant is found not guilty, or TV Licensing withdraws the charges (as is often the case), then the defendant can claim costs, although very few know that. If a defendant attempts to claim costs, then TV Licensing will ask the court to award the payment from public funds. They can do this, as TV licence evasion is a criminal offence. The court can order TV Licensing to pay costs directly, but that can only happen if the prosecution is (demonstrably) negligent in bringing the charges in the first place.

7. I sympathise with your plight, but the BBC won't. The BBC thinks it is entirely justified for TV Licensing to conduct its enquiries in the manner it does. The BBC authorises and approves the wording in every threatening letter. The BBC knows fine well that some TV Licensing goons are aggressive and dishonest in their sales patter, but it turns a blind eye and passes the buck back to Capita. Expect the BBC to suggest making a No Licence Needed claim, but sometimes even that doesn't stop TV Licensing harassment.

I really do suggest you check out our blog:

Dear Peter Jones,

Thank you for your email.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Sattler

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment



Dear Mr Sattler,


Thank you for your recent request for information. Please find the
response attached.


Yours sincerely,


The Information Policy and Compliance Team


BBC Information Policy and Compliance

BC2A4, Broadcast Centre

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TP, UK


Website: [1]

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]



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Nick Leaton left an annotation ()

‘a pattern of unwanted, fixated and obsessive behaviour which is intrusive. It can include harassment that amounts to stalking or stalking that causes fear of violence or serious alarm or distress in the victim’.

That's the definition of stalking. Strikes me the BBC are stalking people. Report each letter as stalking to the police.

The police will say, contact the stalker to ask them to stop. As if they havea throught that through.